Loud & Quiet
Things that are on the verge of extinction, dying out silently or fighting for their survivals.
FOREWORD Each day, there are things disappearing in this world, from species to cultures. This portfolio of 11 articles is a showcase on the theme of extinction, which not only narrowly focuses on species, but also shades weight on wider aspects such as beers and dishes, even an area which is under threat of the national railway construction. Find out why they are endangered, and also celebrate those revived.
Name: Zhang Chenyun Student no. 13992879 Word account: 12590 University of Westminster MA International Jouranlism (Print)
Tough reality in “animal heaven”
Victorian barley variey bring back Bitter
Kenya increase wildlife crime penalty
Selfriges Shark Exhibit marks this year’s Project Ocean
Calling on HS2’s concrete actions than empty forum meeting
Roma Holocaust documentary footages preview in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Month
A new informed light on Extinction
THE GUARDIAN WEEKEND
The forgotten British food
How I perceive Cockney rhyming slang
THE INDEPENDENT MAGAZINE
British beers in danger?
PHILLY BEER SCENE
A sort of extinction
News story THE TIMES
News story EVENING STANDARD
THE OBSERVER MAGAZINE
THE INDEPENDENT MONDAY 20 MAY 2013
Victorian barley variey bring back Bitter By Zhang Chenyun
‘Heritage Special Bitter’ will be possibly resurrected due to Victorian Britain’s most popular barley variety has been grown again after seven decades, Biosciences KTN revealed. This new but old style beer has been brewed from Chevallier Barley, which was very prevalent and went into the vast majority of pints sold in Britain between 100 to 150 years ago, but became almost obsolete by the 1920s. Now, an investigation of heritage barley is undertaken by Dr Chris Ridout, a crop geneticist and brewing enthusiast at John Innes Centre (JIC), an independent subsidized plant science and microbiology centre. “We wanted to grow some old varieties and show them to the public. Investing no-longer commercially grown barley varieties would be interesting,” says Dr Ridout. “The reason for reviving Chevallier was to look again at its malting quality and yields, of which were good enough to see the variety dominate British barley growing and spread around the world.” More than 70 years after it effectively disappeared from British farms, half an acre of Chevallier was grown last year by the John Innes Centre. In addition to heritage malt evaluation, around 200 lines of the Chevallier cross will be grown to find those most suitable for next bulk malting and brewing trials. Dr Ridout and his team have now found that Chevallier is also resistant to Fusarium head blight (FHB), which, if it can be crossbred into other varieties, could be very valuable in the fight against a fungal disease that can devastate grain crops. It is said that this barley variety was cultivated by an amateur agriculturalist Rev-
no-longer commercially grown barley varieties would be interesting ” erend Chevallier around 1824 or 1826. Genetic analysis shows that the tall barley plant is an outlier compared to modern barley varieties. However, the spread of Dr Chevallier’s barley was comparatively rapid, mostly due to it became particularly popular with brewers. “Although it is not a close relation of native British barley, several of which still have their descendants in modern barley fields,” says Dr Ridout. Mr Martyn Cornell, the author of Beer: the Story of the Pint and Beer Memorabilia remarks:“ One estimate suggesting 80 to 90 per cent of barley grown in Britain by the 1880s being Chevallier, although without any evidence being given.” Mr Cornell also mentioned Henry Stopes, a malting expert, once described Chevallier in 1885 as “probably the most widely distributed and best known” barley variety. Mr Stopes said that all the best qualities of every class of barley seem combined in this one variety.
“Modern crop breeding produces elite varieties with high yield and good features for modern agriculture. But this constant selection has narrowed the gene pool, which puts the new varieties at risk from changing environments and new races of pathogens,” Dr Ridout says. Partnering with Plant Biosciences Ltd, JIC will also explore the commercial opportunities for heritage varieties and new lines bred from them. “The hope is that as well as insights into potentially beneficial genetic trains to be found in Chevallier and other old and currently obsolete barley types,” he adds. “More of which are being planted out by the JIC this year, despite that, a market will be developed among brewers who are keen on reviving old beer styles for old barley malts like Chevallier.” Stumptail, a local small brewery specialising in Victorian-inspired beers, is brewing a Chevallier beer. Brewers such as Fuller’s and Kernel in the UK also have seized the chance to resurrect vanished brews, according to Mr Cornell. “Brewers are likely to be beating his door down to try to get hold of authentic old malts with which to brew authentic old beers,” he says.
THE TIMES | Tuesday May 22 2013
Kenya increase wildlife crime penalty The Kenya parliament overwhelmingly approved an emergency amendment of the Wildlife Act on 22 May, which will raise the penalties for illegal poaching of wildlife in Kenya. The parliament also approved the increase in the amount of game rangers in the country, in order to provide a safer enviroment for wildlife. In their decision, MPs approved legislation that should lead to higher penalties for poachers,which is the current punishment has elevated up to 15 years in jail, and a fine of up to KES10 million (about 75,694 pounds). The new penalties would raise possible fines by 25 times and jail length by seven times, which far exceeds previous penalties, and result in aggravating the severity and treatment of wildlife crimes to the level of the Organized Crime Act, the Economic Crimes’ Act and the Anti-Terrorism Crime Act. Kenya has been known for years as having light penalties for poachers, including a fine as low as KES 40,000 (approximately 303 pounds) and up to two years in prison, though this prison time was rarely applied. Butere MP Andrew Toposo Anyanga described the fine for ivory seizures which are worth tens of millions of shillings as “embarrassing”. The Wildlife Act is now more necessary than never because of the rising illegal wildlife trade of rhino horns and elephant ivory tusk, both rhinos and elephants have suffered heavily as poaching has escalated in Kenya as well as in Africa. As the emergency measure has just passed to tackle the ongoing poaching crisis, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is pursuing a gang of poachers that slew four rhinos over the weekend. Wildlife groups have applauded the parliament’s decision to increase penalties for wildlife crime. “The passing of the bill is a huge victory, it is the strongest message from the
government of Kenya on the commitment to preserve national heritage,” says WildlifeDirect, a Kenya wildlife conservancy. “We are thrilled at this step toward a much severer treatment of wildlife crime and trust it will serve as a major deterrent to criminals and a model for other countries,” says Dr Philip Muruthi, the chief scientist of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). “It is our job to be stewards and protectors of these vulnerable species, and today, Kenya has again shown its leadership for conserving our planet.” Chachu Gaya, who proposed this motion, is a private member for North Horr. He remarked that the declining number
of elephants in Kenya is alarming: “Kenya’s elephants declined from 160,000 to 16,000 due to poaching in roughly only two decades.” “Kenya is now home to only 38,500 elephants and 1,025 rhinos,” the MP told fellow legislatures during deliberation. “These animals are a major tourist attraction and anyone who threatens them is committing economic sabotage and should be treated as such.” MPs also encouraged the enlisting of communities to benefit from conservation, and promised to support the passing of the Wildlife Bill which has been stalled since 2007.
Zebra in Africa © AWF
MONDAY 10 JUNE 2013 EVENING STANDARD
Selfriges Shark Exhibit marks this year’s Project Ocean An exhibition concerning sharks will be run in Selfridges Concept Store, as the third year plan for the Project Ocean, and takes a stand for marine conservation. Under the banner of SOS or Save Our Sharks, this exhibition aims to rehabilitate the image of sharks and reveal the alarming fact that sharks are vulnerable to human activities. The exhibition begins from World Oceans Day on 8 June to 15 June. It is designed to turn the negative stereotype of sharks, which is deemed as aggressive and deadly to human beings. “When we launched the Project Ocean three years ago one of our commitments was to recognise World Oceans day every year,” said Alannah Weston, the Creative Director and co-founder of the Project Ocean. “This year we celebrate by showing sharks in a new light as some of the most vulnerable species in the ocean. ” Selfridges sets out to challenge the world to think differently about sharks, by using sets of figures along with revealing offbeat facts to show sharks do almost little harms to us. “It will take more than one generation to document and save our sharks,” said Conservation biologist Samantha Whitcraft. “It’s the high time that we should start to act.” Only seven people were killed by sharks in 2012, according to Selfridges. While a statistical report compiled by Dalhousie University in Canada in 2013 shows that 100 million sharks are killed every year around the world, this number has far exceeded what many populations need to recover. Selfridges said they do this for the good of the planet, because they believe a healthy shark population is a sign of a healthy marine environment. The concept store is decorated like an ocean, with an utterly ocean blue background. In the iconic corner window, a huge hammerhead shark sculpture designed by an artist, is covered with synthetic fur. Several show stands are put inside the concept store, and a cupboard of products 100% free from shark oil are displayed. Selfridges collaborates with brands to raise the awareness to save endangered sharks. Besides, the
profit of these products will go towards Project Ocean fundraising. Launched in 2011, the Project Ocean is the result of an innovative collaboration between Selfridges and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Project Ocean encourages consumers to refuse to purchase endangered fish, and promotes the protection of the marine environment. “Something must be done. Some people call this Corporate Social Responsibility, we call it doing the right thing,” said Alannah Weston.
“This year we celebrate by showing sharks in a new light as some of the most vulnerable species in the ocean. ”
THE DAILY TELEGRAGH WEDNESDAY 12 JUNE 2013
Calling on HS2’s concrete actions than empty forum meeting HS2 Ltd company arranges meetings and talks with Pan-Camden area residents, but no real actions have been taken, Chenyun Zhang reports
S2 Ltd met up with people living around Euston square on 11 June at Maria Fidelis School, to discuss issues of the new railway construction and its possible impacts on Camden area. The discussion lasted for two and a half hour, key concerns included traffic and construction impacts, demolition timing and process, project timescales and property and business compensation. The difference between this forum and the previous ones is that, for this time, the community forum has divided different representatives into four groups, while the former consultation and discussion were arranged on one round table. The four breakout roundtable discussions include housing, business, the new design for Euston station, and code of construction practice and impact. Experts and facilitators are introduced into each group to consult with. HS2 displayed a presentation to show the key impacts on a variety of aspects, and each individual got a brochure that illustrates the construction plan. After the display, more specific questions are raised. “A lot of open spaces need to be specified,” says Jenny Bradley, the representative from housing group, “they should make it plain that what property belongs to which category, to the community or to the nation.” Frank Dobson, the MP for Holborn and St. Pancras questioned the experience of the facilitators. “Although they answered my questions,” he remarks with discontent. “I still doubt what they will do ultimately.” The facilitators also claim that, nothing is guaranteed, it is the ambition. Progress had been updated since the last forum on 18 April. At the re-
quest of residents in the Pan-Camden area, HS2 promises to inform the residents in time, take the public consultation and provide more meetings in the Euston area. In spite of the two community forums, another two consultation events are also in the plan. The first consultation event was held on 24 May at Surma Centre, and an upcoming consultation event will be held on 22 June in the Clarence Hall, Camden. In May 2010, the initial programme for a high-speed rail network has been formed, and in the following years this project was planned in more details and approved. This project is named High Speed 2, and is proposed to link English Midlands as well as Northern English, plus the central of Scotland to London Euston, takes a form of “Y”. Major destinations include Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow. It is said to be the biggest construction project since the Victorian broad railway in London. North West Business Leadership Team of High Speed 2 Ltd claims that, this project can bring about very significant productivity improvements, beneficial changes in the employment mix and major employment growth and relocation. The consequently improved regional and national connectivity will form a key part of the whole UK’s long-term economic recovery. However, as both the route and plan are decided, it is unavoidable that some areas will be influenced. Drummond Street is a prominent example, it’s said that a dead end will be put on this street, which ends up with people having no road access to Euston Station. Besides, it’s not clear yet if there’ll be pedestrian access. This change will exert a huge impact on the businessmen and residents from this street. “A lot of customers come from the station, buy stuff and go out. If there’s no
HS2 Euston Community Forum at Maria Fidelis School
8 road access, we’ll have problems with the customers. It will be a nightmare and business will run down,” Harish Bagauty worries about his business, the owner of an Indian Spice shop. “HS2 has safeguarded all three sides of my house, basically they’ll offer me nothing and I’m going to live in a construction site for ten years,” says Gous Khan, a father of two kids. There is a lot of opposition to HS2, among which also include the Camden Council. Residents in their seventies and eighties have lived here for almost their whole life, it’s unbelievable that a street means so much to so
WEDNESDAY 12 JUNE 2013
“ They cannot afford to
bring a railway to a high street, a high density area.
“We cannot afford not to do it, to be left behind ”
Graphic by Chenyun Zhang [Data from wendover HS2 ]
THE DAILY TELEGRAGH
many people will be destroyed. In the view of these objectors, HS2 has no better value for the money. It has neither consultation nor compensation, and poses a decade of blight on property. Moreover, the impact on commuters, local people and businesses was not properly assessed. “Recently the government hasn’t extended that voluntary compensation to us,” say Thea Hackman, a 50-yearold woman who is living in Drummond Street, “they cannot afford to bring a railway to a high street, a high density area.” The mayor of London, Boris Johnson revealed in this beginning of July, that the cost of HS2 railway will be doubled as the official estimated, up to over £70 billion. It is hugely expensive, and the reasons for building this railway, according to HS2 Limited, include economic benefit to the country as a whole, regional development for both the Midlands and the North of England, and improving capacity for the rail network. “The point is, High Speed Rail is the future, our major competitors, countries like the United States, Spain, France, Germany, Japan, China are all investing in High Speed Rail. And we believe it is the future, we cannot afford not to do it, to be left behind,” Minister of Transport Simon Burn told BBC Newsnight on 18 May. “It will be an engine for growing, it will ensure that eight of our ten largest cities, it will improve journey times. But what is more important than that, is we are running out of capacity on our conventional rail network.” Furthermore, they claim that around 9,000 jobs will be created when the project opens, but they never mention 2,570 people will lose their jobs singly in Euston. Residents in Camden area take their repeated promises as empty words, since no compensation and measures have been brought into effect. People who are under the threat of the HS2 railway project keep on contending themselves, to gather together and demand proper consultation as well as compensation, to insist on effective mitigation and to defend their legitimate interests.
News Feature 25.06.13 Roma Holocaust documentary footages preview in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Month
Panel after watching the footages.
Rare footage of a new documentary about Roma Holocaust can be previewed at Homerton Library on 25 June, unveiling some of the untold stories. Roz Mortimer reveals some filming footage of her documentary Reduced to Silence in this year’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Month as part of the annual awareness raising drive. The footage shows the survivors of, and witnesses to the massacre of Roma telling the stories that were unknown to people. Five footages have been shown to over 60 people in the studio at Homerton Library. All the interviewees speak in Polish or Romani language, and they all speak in anger and agony. They were very young when experienced this calamity, and witnessed their loved ones killed by the Nazis, along with other extremely cruel behaviours. “It was the worst day of my life,” says Jozef in the film. The interviewees describe the killing scenes by their memories, there was no mercy towards Roma, not even to pregnant women or infants. These cruelties left an everlasting painful impression on these interviewees. Some of them can’t help crying and feeling frightened to recall memories. Among the audiences, many of whom are also from this minority group, they shook their heads to the unbelievable facts, and shed their tears for the victims. Roz Mortimer, who has been producing both short and long experimental films since 1995, and her films have been widely screened around the world. Reduced to Silence is specifically looking at the collective memory of the Roma Holocaust in a small region of Southern Poland, and it will be officially released in 2014. After the screening, a panel discussion with the filmmaker and Roma speakers sparkled furious talks, followed by a Q&A session to interact with audiences. In spite of Roz, four more Romani gypsies are invited to attend the panel. They cannot speak English, but their offspring, who was taken to Britain at
a very early age, is able to speak in English. For answering questions like why and how to make this film, Roz says most of the documentary was filmed in Poland, and she spent nearly three years to film it, including preparation. “At first I was interested in places that had witnessed catastrophic events, yet remained without any formal memorial. I wondered if these unmarked landscapes might hold any tangible traces or memory of the events they had witnessed, and how I might translate those traces through film. “As my research progressed, the project has become less about memory, and more about a culture of forgetting. I began to think about why societies choose to remember and memorialise some events, yet choose to forget others,” explained Roz. There are approximately 300,000 Romani gypsies living in the UK, and for over 500 years they’ve been working here, yet their history and culture are little known, nor written history about them has been recorded. Except the Jews, Roma was the second target of the Nazi Germany during World War II, when approximately 60,000 Gypsies were killed. However, people around the world remember the Jews, but the fate of the Gypsies is normally set aside and forgotten. Having seen the film footage, the Roma speakers recalled their memories, then shared their own stories. Luckily, they didn’t encounter the Nazis in person and survived, but unfortu-
The Guardian 9
nately they suffer from losing their families and relatives. One speaker’s father was killed during that time, and her mother witnessed the whole process. Another speaker just arrived in London shortly, he was in formal suit and said this event meant a lot to him. He was a bit shy, nervous and excited. “I’m stunned to see so many people here today, and I thank you all for coming,” he said, “it’s essential to remember the history, especially for children. History makes people who they are, if you don’t’ know the history, it’s like you don’t know the colour of your mother’s eyes.” Two of the Roma speakers have moved out of Poland for more than two decades, they said the reason for leaving was in search of more equality and open environment. Even in their home countries, they were still discriminated against and found it difficult to integrate into society. Countries like Romania and Bulgaria, Roma gypsies are unable to get benefit due to they don’t have a permanent address, which means they can’t get the national identity card. Their governments treat them as beggars and thieves, declining to dish out welfare payments. Gypsies confronted with constant racism and violence, thus a rising number of them head to more wealthy countries in Western Europe such as France and the UK, in seek of a better condition. Racial discriminations has led to Gypsies conceal their roots. Ferka Schicker, who now is working at Roma Community in Hackney, confessed that he was unwilling to reveal his identity. “I remember when I first arrived in UK, it was 19 years ago. I walked out of the airport and thought I was totally different. Usually I pretended to be Jews. But gradually grown up, I
10 The Guardian
Cemetery at Zabno © Roz Mortimer
History makes people who they are, if you don’t know the history, it’s like you don’t know the colour of your mother’s eyes. find what my identity means to me, that’s why I’m working at promoting Roma now. Luckily, Roma community is now improved and very well guided.” However, they all agreed that, some people help, while others just put down. Roksana, daughter of the speaker who lost her father in the massacre, was taken to London since she was 14 years old. Her mother wanted to provide her with a better education and environment as well. “We came for opportunities,” said this over 80 years old lady, who refuses to say her name. “There are fewer opportunities in Poland.” Yet, her daughter Roksana is still under the influence of her identity though. “When I sought a job, and said I was Romani, the recruiter would say we’ll call you later,” said Rokasana, “this happens many times. Then I know that I can’t unveil my real identity. I then told them I was Polish, this helps me to get my job.” “It’s the same,” Roksana interpreted what her mother said, “prejudice is everywhere, I thought things would be better here, but it’s the same when people know you are Romani.” The bias towards Gypsies are formed from the impression as they pickpocket, illegally invade a spot, dump rubbish, go on a crime spree, etc. The image of uncivilized community left in other Europeans’ minds. “People are welcome in Europe, we have plenty of immigrants, but it is based on a simple understanding, we give to them, they give something back,” says Paul Steven, a 37-yearold engineer, “the Roma gives nothing back, they have no interest in giving anything back.” It’s difficult not to generalize from time to time, many people claim that they respect Roma who is hard-working, but they think there is very few of them. Since 2003, Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month has been initiated in Brent, aiming at changing the univocal and hidebound impression of Roma, and minimizing the widespread ignorance of this community. Now, each June activity is held to let people get to know more about Roma gypsies.
A new informed light on Extinction Chenyun Zhang
Once stepping into the exhibition room, welcomed by 65 million years old dinosaur skull, standing in the middle of a corridor, two video installations are displaying the motion of a variety of species, vivid and with vigour. After the motion pictures, scripts appear, asking questions that make you fathom, e.g., is extinction an end or a beginning? This extinction exhibit kicked off by revealing the ongoing endangered situation of species, as well as highlighting animals that are died out. It is a prevailing theory that dinosaurs are destroyed by an asteroid impact. Despite the skeletons at the entrance, no dinosaurs will be found. However, an outer space rock is displayed, whose surface is more metal-like than general stones. The story of the past also discloses the means that were used to kill mammoths, anyone would be astonished to see how a small weapon executed a large mammal. Having acknowledged the previous massive extinction and their causes, we look back at the current threatened species, and begin to doubt, are we human beings the cause of the next massive extinction? And what can we do about it? Species on display are from all around the world. Palaeontologist Professor Adrian Lister describes the exhibit as a message from the past to the present. A chance is provided to see the rich variety of species underwater, on land, and in flight. Notable examples include Baiji Dolphin, Tiger, Giant Irish Elk, and completely extinct Dodos. Both extinct and survived species are found and discussed, in the meantime, it naturally sparks a comparison between them. Stark contrasts also embody in the display of tuna and tiger, which are compared with their productions such as tune tin and mink coat. These are controversial messages, which stimulate debates rather than telling you what to think. When it comes to the causes of extinction, natural factors like climate change is not the focus, emphasis is on the human impact, which is believed to play an increasingly important role on species. The extinction of Dodos is an outstanding example. A Dodo standing straight, with its tail perked up, its eyes staring vigorously and its beak looks like a smile. The specimen is too vivid to be discovered as a faker, until read the whole story about human activity killing this rare species on the island of Mauritius. You get chance to see 80 real Museum species, from small
butterflies to huge elk antler, they are just like alive. In spite of the specimens, moving pictures are shown to create a more picturesque view, many of them are very interactive since you can tap the screen and choose from what you’d like to see. It’s sad though, but also amazing to see those dead animals once swimming in their habitat, fighting with one another, and to hear their voices, presuming that you still have opportunities to meet them. Don’t get me wrong, this exhibit is not simply deal with dying out, but also to praise the ones that have survived, and celebrate the ones that are brought back from dead. In addition, it also challenges and subverts orthodox. Unexpectedly, the smallpox virus and a kind of crop pest are listed in the extinct category too. On the one hand, it says that not all extinction is necessarily bad, that it can be a part of the cycle of nature. On the other hand, it memorizes the extinction of species that posed threats to human’s life. It doesn’t define nor judge anything, and the answer is left to you, which can be varied from person to person. You are invited to make your answers heard, and question installations effectively keep viewers involved, on which you may vote for concept that you agree. After seeing a variety of colourful species, reading stories and being asked questions of the situation, this exhibit doesn’t let you ponder inside by yourself. You can see what did most of people opt for, what are their opinions and also reflects what kind of society we are living in. Yet words are usually easier than actions, even most people prefer a more diverse world, but it turns out to be very different when actually put into practice. Since the exhibit is a bit heavy going, there’s a game tries to interest children as well as make viewers to experience the difficulties in saving species. To put in a nutshell, this exhibit is comprehensive and thought provoking, neither too serious nor negative. It is all about going beyond the dinosaurs and dodos to see a different side of the extinction story. Real specimens, interactive installations and remarkable stories fully illustrate the extinction story, and constantly keep viewers involved in this process. This exhibit is definitely a highly recommendation to those who love nature, and have a curiosity on how species go extinct. It worth the money, and make quick decisions due to it runs only until September 8.
The Guardian Weekend | 6 July 2013 11
FOOD The forgotten British food
Word: Zhang Chenyun Photo: Slow Food
efore being in the UK, despite fish and chips, the dish I know is called Starrey gazey Pie, because this dish surprises Chinese young people and is widely recognized as a laughingstock. However, when I asked my British counterpart, they said they never heard about it. As a matter of fact, it’s normal that young generation today knows little about British traditional dishes in such an international environment. Starrey gazey pie is a traditional dish in Cornwall, especially in a village called Mousehole. The pie is made of seafood such as pilchards, along with potatoes and eggs, and covered by a pastry crust. The unique part of this dish is that the fish heads portruding through the crust, and just like staring at the sky. “My husband would say that you are not ‘proper Cornish’ if you do not know about the pie,” says Christine Hosking, a 75-year-old lady living fairly close to the town of Mousehole. “People still eat Starrey gazey Pie on Tom Bawdock’s day, but we haven’t tried.” Jenny Linford, a food writer and author, depicts the society we live in as “the multicultural society”, with people cooking pasta for their children, eating sushi at lunchtime and making curries. Having been working as a food specialist for years, Jenny talked about food that are forgotten. She remarks that British people are less likely to eat offal dishes, such as tripe and chitterlings. “Thrifty offal dishes, when meat was an expensive luxury, have fallen out of favour in more affluent times,” says
12 MAGAZINE | 15.07.13 | THE OBSERVER
Jenny, “the lack of butchers’ shops means people are less exposed to the cheaper cuts of meat.” Brawn and faggots are also less eaten than before, interestingly enough, the latter’s additional meaning becomes a satire of this dish. In addition, unlike Yorkshire pudding is everywhere, some British steamed pudding is rarely found now. Two notable examples are Jam Roly poly and Spotted dick. Invented in the early 19th century, Jam Roly-Poly, also named Dead Man’s Arm is a flat rolled suet British traditional pudding. Its nickname comes from the way it was steamed in the past, when it was steamed as well as served in an old shirtsleeve. Nominated as one of the strangest dish names, Spotted dick is actually a pudding contains dried fruit and served with custard. ‘Spotted’ refers to the dried fruits, usually raisins and currants. And ‘dick’ may be a corruption of the word pudding or dough. As a great deal of food is facing endangered situations, Slow Food, an international movement is initiated by Carlo Petrini for preserving traditional and regional cuisine, has added a project to its Ark of Taste scheme. The global Ark of Taste scheme has collected 1,070 products from over 70 countries, so far, there are 63 endangered products on the list of UK Forgotten Food. In the following context, some of the products will be classified and illustrated.
The United States wages a civil war for diminishing racial discrimination, but as the colour discrimination takes place, even food products are under its influence, and their commercial use are severely threatened. The products whose popularity is influenced by their colour include Large black pig, Berkshire pig and Shetland black potato. Large Black Pig The Large Black pig is Britain’s only all black pig, originated in Devon and Cornwall. They have lopped ears and a long, black coloured deep body. They are very docile. In the early part of the 20th Century, they were widely distributed throughout the country. However, the amount of this species now greatly reduced due to the general turn away from coloured pigs, along with the desire for a leaner carcass. The quality of the meat is excellent with a rich gamey flavour. Berkshire Pig Suffering from colour discrimination as well, Berkshire pigs are mostly black indeed, but differ from the all-black pigs, they have white trotters and markings on the face. Their body is short but deep. What’s the most important, they produce good pinky pork, which has a fine texture, nice-looking marbling and sweet juicy flavour. Same as Large Black Pig, the breed is hardy and compatible with outdoor rearing. Once was a favourite with the Royal Family during the 19th Century, the breed is originated from the Thames valley around the late 16th Century, and its history is also related to Oliver Cromwell, the first lord protector of the Commonwealth. Cromwell’s troops whose references to the breed are some of the earliest on record. However, even though traditionally pretty popular, the breed went through a decline after the Second World War, when growing demand for leaner meat as well as a general rejection of coloured breeds. In addition to that, their traits are also loathed by consumers, which leads to the requirement to careful butchering and remove black hairs as well as natural blemishes.
Shetland Black Potato Not only meat is discriminated against, but vegetables can also be the victims of colour prejudice. Not all the potatoes are yellowish, Shetland Black Potatoes have a distinctive dark purple to almost black skin and are kidney shaped. The shallow eyed tubers are smaller than modern potato varieties and slightly erratic in shape, often being oval with one end and more bulbous than the other. The specific origin of this potato has remained unknown, but there was saying that they were salvaged from a Spanish Armada shipwreck. This potato was listed in the within the National Collection in 1923. Unlike commercial varieties, Shetland Black potatoes and many other heritage varieties are not as high yielding. They are only available in small amounts from stocks grown on the Islands. Coupled with the fact that present consumers prefer white fleshed potatoes with very few blemishes, few commercial benefits has driven to less growing of this traditional variety.
Some products are falling off the edge due to their complicated traditional process. Normally the traditional process is comparatively slow and inefficient, and this becomes a reason for the decline of Farmhouse ‘Stilton’ and Jersey Black Butter. Farmhouse ‘Stilton’ Stilton is historically renowned as the ‘king of cheeses’, it develops a tough hard crust, which is pale grey and has powdery white patches. By piercing the crust with stainless steel needles during production, it allows the distinctive blue mould to develop. When the air infuses the holes, the Penicillium roquefortii which has been dormant, starts to grow and produce the veins that associated with Stilton cheeses. Traditionally made in the counties of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire, the ‘king of cheeses’ uses the name of a small town of Stilton in Cambridgeshire. Stilton is best known for its creamy and gentle flavours, which are cut through by the sharpness of the blue veins.
THE OBSERVER | 15.07.13 | MAGAZINE 13
It also has an intense winey flavour when is softened. Creamery Stilton now has a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) status and must be made with pasteurised milk. Although share the same origin, creamery and farmhouse Stilton are quite different in taste due to distinctive recipes and techniques. There is only one farmhouse Stilton made with unpasteurised milk currently in production. Jersey Black Butter This time, the colour is not the reason for extinction any longer. The black butter is an old and traditional farmhouse delicacy of Jersey, which is made and produced in the cider-making season. Twenty per cent of the arable land of Jersey is made up of orchards during the 16th century, and the growing of apples and the making of cider has been a traditional economic activity of Jersey. In the cider season, making black butter was a good way to use up any surplus of cider and a seasonal glut of apples. Since the 19th century, apple growing and cider making diminished. Furthermore, despite some recent efforts to revive these activities, they are now a negligible part in the Island’s economy. In addition, the production of Jersey Black Butter is very labour-intensive, this was used to form cooperative and community projects which united people within Jersey, but now most traditional knowledge has been lost through generations. “The preserve is important not only in gastronomic terms, but as a feature of the now declining, traditional rural culture of the Island,” says Slow Food. Traditionally Grown Hampshire Watercress, Grimsby Smoked Haddock and Morecambe Bay Shrimps can also be included in this category, where traditional ways of producing and slow process is deemed as less competitive with commercial quicker machinery products. The reason can also be applied to some traditional British dishes in terms of time, Jenny says that time-consuming dishes are out of favourl, people lost the patience to wait for palatable dishes in this fast-pacing world.
could not afford meat. The production of Peasemeal disappeared in the 1970s until it was revived by a producer, who notices an increasing demand within the Highland regions. The popularity of this product is slowly increasing. Peasemeal is traditionally used for brose, a thick savoury porridge. Since renewed popularity, it has been used as a crispy coating for fish or chicken, as well as within white sauces and also used for making healthy
On the one hand, dozens of dishes and products have been met with alarm; on the other hand, many people begin to raise awareness of some products and make efforts to revive them. Peasemeal Peasemeal has been used since Roman times, it became a utility food and was widely eaten in the UK during the Second World War. It is flour made from ground yellow field peas, and North East Scotland is the traditional region of this production. Scotland has a long history of using flour ground from peas, references to peas scones and bannocks made from Peasemeal can be found in 18th and 19th Century texts. Its popularity during World War II is largely associated with poverty, as it provided protein for those who
14 MAGAZINE | 15.07.13 | THE OBSERVER
vegetarian pates. Einkorn Grain According to research, Einkorn is the oldest variety of wheat and by the 8th Century, Einkorn, Rye, Barley and Oats were the main cereal food found in England. Typically found in Britain, this crop has an unusual, short and flat, two-row seed head, which encases small wheat like grains in an inedible husk. The tough crop grows tall in
“ Many tradition-
al British dishes which were vanishing or less eaten are now back on British menus
the field and thrives in poor soil and in adverse weather. Einkorn is excellent for making rustic breads or artisan cakes and distinct itself with a nutty flavour. The grain has delicious, complex flavours and also presents various nutritional benefits, such as a higher level of protein and antioxidants compared to regular wheat. There are evidences show that the protein of einkorn may not be harmful to the sufferers of celiac disease and possibly in the future, after further researches, will be recommended in a gluten-free diet. Yet, set aside its nutrition and tasty flavour, the decline of Einkorn grain still can’t be avoided due to the difficulty of threshing grains, the availability of greater yields of traditional naked wheat and the improvements in grain storage methods. Einkorn production completely vanished in the UK until 2008 when Doves Farm began a collaborative project with a small group of organic farmers to reestablish the production of Einkorn.
After seeing so many British dishes and products that are on the road of vanishing, you may wonder what are the British new favours then. The change of taste is affected by various reasons, such as people’s livelihood and social environment. There is no denying that the UK is under the influence of massive internationalization, as one of the biggest melting pot, not only more and more people from different countries and backgrounds come to England, but they also bring their cuisine here. Foreign style restaurants in Britain have further widened the popularity of foreign cuisine. However, if you are thinking about the British way of cooking, recent modern British cuisine is largely influenced and popularised by TV chefs. Jenny regards Heston Blumenthal as a representative of new British style chefs. “He explores Britain’s food heritage but give it inventive twists,” remarks Jenny, “he worked with Victorian Mrs Marshall’s ice cream recipes but tweaking them in very cutting edge way.” “Many traditional British dishes which were vanishing or less eaten are now back on British menus, because of the fashion for British food. You see Scotch eggs are now everywhere,” she adds. “I think some traditional dishes, such as potted shrimps, are enjoying a revival but others will disappear.”
THE OBSERVER | 15.07.13 | MAGAZINE 15
ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE
Tough reality in “animal heaven” Words: Chenyun Zhang Picture: African Wildlife Fundation
t should be known, but for many times people choose to overlook a fact that, the widest continent is undergoing a massacre and deteriorating. Among all the animal sanctuaries, Africa enjoys the largest grassland in the world. It is home to thousands of species of animals, such as buffalo, lions, cheetahs, elephants and rhinos. It is also the only place where non-indigenous chimpanzees can be seen as the sanctuaries aim to provide a permanent refuge for orphaned or confiscated chimpanzees. The unique and favourable natural conditions of Africa guarantee its unparalleled wildlife resources. However, despite the efforts that made by governments as well as NGOs, the number of animals on the IUCN Red List, the world’s main authority on the global conservation status of species, is climbing. Currently, 283 of African species are placed on the IUCN Red List as endangered. These animals are under the threats of habitat degradation, poaching, fragmentation, human-wildlife conflicts, climate change and diseases. “The continent is undergoing rapid development, and its human population is increasing, putting pressure on its wild lands and wildlife,” says Dr. Philip Muruthi, chief scientist of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). Animal habitats have been cleared to make ways for roads, housing, agriculture and other hallmarks of industrial development. Habitat loss has been identified as a main threat to 85 per cent of all species in the IUCN’s Red list. Confronted with the overwhelming trend, important ecological habitats will continue to be lost if without a strong plan to create terrestrial and marine protected areas. Besides, climate change also poses a great threat to African species. According to World Wildlife Fund (WWF), evidence suggests that the global warming of the past century already has resulted in marked ecological changes, including changes in species ranges, growing seasons, and patterns of seasonal breeding. “The landscape is changing; the glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro and Kenya are melting; the shorelines of Lakes Chad, Victoria, and Tanganyika are receding,” says Dave Loubser, a trained ecologist who has more than 12 years of experience working on climate change issues. “Changes in the climate have also led to unreliable farming seasons, increased droughts, low water supplies, and heavy storms. These are serious problems for a continent almost entirely dependent on rain for its food security.” The AWF deems that large landscape conservation can be part of the solution to climate change. Thus they weave climate change adaption and mitigation efforts into many programs, such as Mau Reforestation and Kolo Hills REDD+, the latter reduces emissions to lessen climate change impact . Among those species, rhinos and elephants are the most criti-
cally endangered, and the most obvious reason that distinguishes them from other species is poaching. “The reason for these declines is mainly habitat loss, but when you add on poaching and incompatible utilization, the situation is worse, so it’s agitative,“says Dr. Muruthi, ”poaching can lead to sudden impact that was unintended. It can be amplified.” Poaching now is becoming an increasingly serious issue which may end up with unpredictable and irreversible consequences. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature manifests that global smuggling of ivory has doubled since 2007, and tripled just since 1998. By 2008, new markets in Asia had emerged as Asian business links to Africa increased and economies grew rapidly, creating a new class of potential ivory consumers. These rising markets caused poaching to increase dramatically in West, Central, and East Africa and have steadily worsened ever since. The recent flux in demand for rhino horns has also sparked a substantial poaching market, one in which hunters’ methods are becoming more sophisticated and tougher to track down with each attack. To add up, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) allowed ‘one-off ’ sales of ivory from natural mortality, culls and seizures. The first ‘one-off ’ sale occurred in 1999 from Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe and the ivory was exclusively sold to Japan. The second sale, which included South Africa, occurred in 2009 as ivory was sold to both China and Japan. These ‘one-off ’ sales allowed China to purchase 62 tons of ivory at the CITES-approved sale. In an AWF’s 2012 report, it said that China continues to increase its involvement with, and investment in, Africa. As this investment has continued, the continent has seen significant improvements in its infrastructure, from new roads to new buildings. However, critics point out the potential downsides—including the possible link, both real or imagined, between more Chinese living in Africa and increased poaching of elephants and rhinos, whose ivory and horns, respectively, are in high demand in China and throughout Asia. “In certain parts of these Asian countries, there’s a long-held belief that rhino horns have a potent medicinal power to cure fevers, headaches and, even cancer, according to some claims,” says Dr Muruthi, “although none of it has been scientifically proven.” “A growing demand of illegal animal products, primarily rhino horn and elephant ivory, from the Asia’s Black market breeds the illicit killing in Africa and Asia,” he adds. The increasing demand for ivory and horn has once again transformed Africa’s savannas and forests into killing fields. Making matters worse, poaching has become increasingly militarized and sophisticated, involving terror groups and criminal
The increasing demand for ivory and horn has once again transformed Africa’s savannas and forests into killing fields.
Resurgence & ecologist
were killed in action in the last
cartels that endanger the lives of rangers and communities. It not only destroys vital natural heritage, but also against the stability and prosperity of nations. “Trained rangers put their lives at risk, for very little salary,” Dr Fowlds, who travels around South Africa and help other wildlife vets to save rhinos, told Science Daily. It is estimated that over 1,000 rangers were killed in action in the last ten years, although the real figure is likely to be much higher. In the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga national park alone, more than 150 rangers have been killed, and many more others have been left disabled permanently. Attacks can be vicious, some even involving unspeakable cruelty. Not only the threatened animals, the direct human cost of poaching activities is also devastating. According to African Wildlife Foundation, each year up to 25,000 elephants are killed for their ivory, while in 2012 approximately 668 rhinos were killed in South Africa for their horns. “Rhinos have been slain at a rate of one to two every twelve hours, 2012 proved to be a difficult year for Africa’s rhinos, prompting AWF to convene an emergency Summit where stakeholders discussed ways to end the slaughter,” says Dr. Muruthi. “Most of the poaching occurs in the northern Kruger National Park, a park equals to the size of Israel. The park borders on Mozambique and there is a deluge of poachers crossing the river to get to the rhino.” Nearly 93 per cent of the rhinoceros reside in South Africa. Many rhino species have historically gone extinct, and only five species remain today. The global rhino population fell from an estimated 75,000 in the early 1970s to around 30,000 today. According to IUCN Red List, nearly 4,880 black rhinos and 20,000 white rhinos, along with around 470,000 to 690,000 elephants are left in Africa. But Dr Muruthi says that they don’t have half a million of elephants in this continent now. “Illegal wildlife trafficking can undermine economies, destabilize governments, imperil people’s futures, “ he adds. “Most importantly, threaten the very survival of some of the world’s most celebrated species. If we do nothing, we risk losing everything.” What leads to such inhumane actions? The immediate cause is commercial benefits. The rocketing value for the horns plays a key role in poaching, but it’s also tough to determine. Some rumours claim a typical horn is equivalent to the price of gold on the black market; some heard of prices reaching close to 33,000 pounds a kilogram. Only 6 years ago it was valued at 3,000 pounds per kilogramme, today it goes for ten times that amount and more in Vietnam. At these prices the challenge of halting the crisis seems remote. The Criminal Nature report released by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) details how wildlife crime has grown into the fourth largest branch of illegal international trade in the past half-decade. Now worth 12 billion pounds annually, the black market make profits for many traders but also put rare species to the edge of extinction. “Demand for illegal wildlife goods, from elephant ivory to antelope shawls needs to be reduced through education,” says
Beth Allgood of IFAW, “many people are unaware of the role that demand for illegal wildlife goods plays in driving species to extinction.” Throughout the years, NGOs and wildlife authorities are implementing efforts to address the threats toward these endangered species. The countries are exerting greater efforts to conserve this unique ecosystem, with the help of partners such as the European Union. Since 2009, AWF has also been contributing, through support for park management that includes road restoration, wildlife monitoring, habitat restoration, and community empowerment programs that generate income for women. Increased human development in recent years has led to more fenced properties and greater human–wildlife conflict. A notable example is the “green lung” of Nairobi, Nairobi National Park spans 28,963 acres. Like most parks in Kenya, wildlife often migrates out of the park to adjacent lands such as Keen’s. Wildlife movement requires more creative conservation solutions to ensure wild lands stay intact. One of the key components AWF emphasizes is the meaningful integration of communities into conservation solutions. “The empowerment of communities is one of the common success factors for conservation. From eco-lodges to livestock market-access projects and more, the conservation enterprises provide economic benefits that encourage communities to engage in conservation. “AWF works with communities to build enterprise that allow residents to benefit from wildlife, and ultimately helps them understand that wildlife can be a boon, not a bane, for their prosperity. These include eco-tourist lodges, aquaculture projects, and livestock management programs, among many other possibilities.” The conservation enterprises create a domino effect of benefits, helping to generate jobs, spurring infrastructure growth that spawns greater education and social services. Most importantly, the result is greater protection for wildlife and enhanced biodiversity. “AWF is well-positioned to make a significant impact in saving the rhino, elephant, and other critical species,” says Dr Muruthi, “The way we see it, it is not progress or conservation. Instead, conservation can be at the root of progress. Done right, people and wildlife can coexist, even thrive.” R
Resurgence & ecologist
How I perceiv
As a Chinese o id language, as London is like one district, bu
ast Saturday, when I switched TV channels, BBC One was playing a sitcom called Only Fools and Horses. The two guys looked very funny and I wanted to find a hearty laugh, so I kept on watching, but I could get the humour only by their expressions, not by their words. I’ve watched Miranda before, and I have no problem understanding it. This time, however, I can’t believe that I don’t even understand a bit, does my English retrogress? This thought made me very upset, then I dug out the script of this sitcom, what’s worse, I could’t comprehend it even by watching it. What’s the relationship between “deep freeze and David Bowie”, I know David Bowie is a famous musician, but I can’t get this sentence. “Albert hall” and “syrups of fig’, if I guess by their literal meaning, I can never get the hang of these jokes. Before I was driven Mum and Dad (mad), I found out these phrases are actually Cockney rhyming slang, a dialect English in London, particularly from the East End of London. The most popular belief is that the rhyming slang is inextricably related to the costermongers, and began as a secret language of the underworld in the East End of London. These slangs are incomprehensible even to the young generation today, let alone me, a Chinese outsider not ‘in the know’. It’s difficult to find the relation between the slang and the meaning, that’s why it appears elusive to listeners like me. Normally, the slang constructed by a rhyming phrase of two or more words, rather than a common word. Cockney rhyming slang is believed to be an identity with England, especially with London. But in recent years, reports and surveys show that the use of Cockney rhyming slang is declining. For example, Cockney,
18 | LIFE | Sunday Independent | 14 July 2013
which was referred to those who born within the area of Bow Bells, most of them now are moving out of central London. Besides, a decreasing number of people, especially young people speak Cockney and rhyming slang. The TV series that I mentioned in the very beginning dates back to 1981, now the situation is nothing like 30 years ago. Having been used for two centuries, rhyming slang is seemingly old enough to be out-dated. However, when I browsed this cramped ancient language, at first I was confused and unable to find any logical connections. But after a while, would you Adam and Eve (believe) it? I began to enjoy it, discover the wit and humour in it. Just as Shakespeare put it, there are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes. I also have my own understanding of Cockney rhyming slang, as an outsider. The phrase I just used, Adam and Eve, old and common, ‘I Adam and Eve most of you know that’, but this sentence may not very correct, as ‘Adan and Eve’ is an expression of disbelief. To add up, another rhyming slang Christmas Eve has the same meaning. Speaking of David Bowie, his newly released album ‘The Next Day’ has received rave reviews. Despite that, ‘today is a bit David Bowie’, which means blowy windy, and is spoken with great cockney understatement after the great hurricane of 1987 that devastated the south of England. The popularity of using names of contemporary personalities as rhyming slang expressions started from mid-20th century, and lasted into the late 20th century. Instances include Ruby Murray meaning curry, Max Miller meaning pillow, Tony Blairs meaning flares, Britney Spears meaning beers. London is notorious for its foggy and rainy weather,
ve Cockney rhyming slang
outsider, Zhang Chenyun deems that Cockney is a vivs well as a symbol of London. She says Cockney to Beijing dialect to Beijing, it’s not simply a dialect in ut also a characteristic of a nation. people moan about it, so do the rhyming slang, ‘Ache and Pain’ and ‘All Complain’ both refer to the rain. The former one is almost the norm for it to be ‘aching’ during Wimbledon fortnight or as England are about to win their only test of the series. But I perceive it as rainy weather is always wet and triggers the pain and ache in knuckles. The latter is relatively straightforward, wet weather brings out the moaner in all of us. Before coming in Britain, I knew interesting slang like ‘See you later, Alligator’ and ‘In a while, Crocodile’, they strike alliteration, and are very catchy. In Cockney rhyming slang, I also find ‘Alligator’, which means later, and it formed exactly from the 50s term I cited. Crocodile doesn’t mean ‘a while’ though, if you say to others ‘give us a crocodile’, you are asking for a smile. But it’s not recommended as it’s usually said to someone who looks down. Smile is such a nice expression, while Crocodile is such a frightening creature. Similar contrast can often be found in rhyming slang, for instance, a ‘carving knife’ meaning ‘wife’, but a ‘charming wife’ meaning ‘life’. I have to admit that the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ can be transformed to ‘don’t judge a cockney rhyming slang by its words’. ‘Daisy bell’, to me is a lovely bell, but it actually means ‘hell’. I assume I’ll never dare to touch a daisy bell next time. Derived in London, Cockney rhyming slang also makes full use of the names of different places in London. ‘Big Ben’ is a reference to ‘10 pounds’, cheaper than I thought. ‘Camden Town’ is ‘brown’, but it’s not about the colour here, in fact, a brown is an old slang term for a copper coin. In my opinion, it is a cheap place anyway. ‘Charing Cross’ means ‘horse’, this one is convincing to me, only the horses turn into vehicles nowadays. ‘Piccadilly’ refers to ‘silly’, what makes a popular place become a silly place, to be frank, Picca-
dilly circus is not that ‘pica’. Being a part of Cockney, the vivid and witty rhyming slang, yet is considered to be ‘brown bread’ (dead), but a chance is provided to probe into the culture of the East End in July. The forthcoming Cockney Heritage Festival will run from 18-27 July, announced and organised by Tower Hamlets Council, who hopes the festival will encourage people to reminisce about the East End’s culture. More than 50 events will be put on during the ten days, to display and explain Cockney through various aspects, including entertainment, exhibition, walks and tours, films, talks and workshops, etc. From my point of view, Cockney rhyming slang is a colourful dialect, which has been a symbol of London for over two centuries. It’s a pity for everyone to lose such a precious cultural heritage. I can’t imagine if Peking dialect diminishes one day, which is such a special dialect as well as a trait of Beijing. Probably Cockney and rhyming slang is the victim of globalization, more outsiders like me squeeze into the city, and the East Enders have to move out of their original home. More than twenty Donkey’s ears (years) ago, Cockney was reported as an endangered language, but it survives and is still alive today. Cockney Rabbit (talk) is very strong, but it is also in the need of more protection.
14 July | Sunday Independent | 2013 LIFE | 19
British Have you ever caught up with an old friend in a pub, ordered a beer was once both your favourite, but was informed that the beer was no longer on sale? It’s annoying when you are in the mood for nostalgia, but find out the things you were familar with, are not there any more. It is said objects are valued due to it rarity, but this is not happening to beers. By telling the beer history in England, Martyn Cornell, the author of ‘Amber, Gold and Black: The History of Britain’s Great Beers’, reveals some beers that are on the verge of extinction. “Like animals, beers can be endangered species, some can even go extinct,” says Mr Cornell.
Sixteenth century – West Country White Ale (Extinct)
One eminent example is West Country White Ale, which was brewed in the 16th century, and now nobody has seen it in the wild for more than 125 years. It is one of the oldest beer styles, dating from the Medieval era. Being naturally fermented, it was last found in Cornwall. “White ale is mostly brewed by home, it doesn’t have not many hops,” says Mr Cornell, “and it’s totally varnished in 1870s, the possible reason for people stop brewing them might be they are less popular.”
Early eighteenth century – Porter (Vulnerable)
Being described as ‘vulnerable species’, Porter is worthy mentioning. Porter was the most popular drink in the country, particularly extremely popular in London. It was once brewed by thousands of brewers, large and small, in the UK, but went extinct in Britain in the early 1950s, and in Ireland in 1973. In 1978, it was brought back to life by a couple of brewers, such as Penrhos in Herefordshire and Timothy Taylor in Yorkshire. A fair number of small breweries make porter today, but porter is still far from the mainstream beer as it was in the 19th century. “Many brewers made a great fortune at that time because of porter,” Mr Cornell recalls. “However,” he adds. “Porter has been exported to Belgium, where it finds a place to stand.” During the period between 1720 and 1850, Porter was prevalent in the UK, but good times don’t last long, a Porter brewer accidentally engendered the Great Beer Flood,
20 PHILLYBEERSCENE.COM ! JUNE/JULY 2013
“Like animals, beers ca some can even go extin
which, as a direct result, killed eight people. Mr Cornell described Great Beer Flood as ‘a calamity both for human and this old beer.” The Meux and Company Horse Shoe Brewery stood at the southern end of Tottenham Court Road. At that time, they liked the porter to be aged. Thus, some porters could spend up to two years patiently maturing in massive wooden vats, acquiring different sorts of interesting flavours before being blended with younger beer at the alehouse, largely depended on customers’ tastes. Breweries competed with one another to see who could build the largest vat. One afternoon at the Horse Shoe on Monday October 17 in 1814, the wooden staves of the vat fell apart due to an iron restraining hoop fell off one of the vats. The resulting flood of beer, weighing up to 600 tons, along with wood and metal from the vat knocked out the wall of the During the First W brewery and crashed into the street, shortages of grain le destroying more vessels which were holding another 1200 barrels of beer. the strength of beer. “The torrent flooded the cellars of nearby houses, and even some street-level rooms,” Mr Cornell depicted the devastating scene. “It’s said that the wave of beer was at least 15 feet high.” The brewery was saved from bankruptcy by reclaiming duty, and was demolished in 1922.
1850s – Mild ale
Since 1850s and onwards, people changed their taste, only
light and crisp so as to go with food.
Dark Mild (Endangered)
an be endangered species, nct,” says Martyn Cornell. old people drank Porter. After 1870s, an increasing number of people showed tendency to choose a new beer style called Mild ale, which replaced Porter to be the most popular beer. In comparison with porter, which is classified as black beer, Mild ale’s name manifests its milder mouth feel than porter. Unfortunately, mild ale shares the same fate with porter. Mr Cornell classifies mild ale as endangered beer in his personal checklist, both light and dark versions are included.
Light mild (Critically endangered)
Light mild was the descendant of the strong pale light mild ales of the 18th and 19th century. Although was lightly hopped, they were significantly brought down the strength in alcohol, in response to the huge rises in taxes on beers, as well as the restrictions on production, which took place during the First World War. However, even was the most popular style of draught beer right up to the start of the 1960s, Mild World War in Britain, ale failed to capture new generations pub goers, and it suffered a cataed to restrictions on of strophic decline in sales over the next 30 years, many brewers have ceased to produce it. “Arguably, since most modern drinkers expect a ‘mild’ to be dark, ‘light mild’ should really be in the ‘critically endangered’ category,” Mr Cornell heaves a sigh. The Victorian era was the age when wines began to be associated with wealth, and were found on the tables of working families. Compared with porters and the heavy milds, Dinner Ales were the affordable alternative of the time, and were generally lower in alcohol. Besides, they are
Dark mild is pretty much evolved from Light Mild around the turn of the last century, and overlaps with the weaker Burton/Old Ales. It is related to Brown Ale, but Brown Ale was always a bottled beer style. Dark mild suffered the same fate as light mild due to their pale forebears with the same sharp decline in sales as well as production, both also had a marketing problem in the 1990s and 2000s. “Some brewers tried to revive them, but many drinkers apparently would not buy a beer called mild,” says Mr Cornell, “though they would happily drink it if it was labelled something like dark ale.” This may now be less true, as drinkers become keener on trying the beers their grandfathers drank. There are still some around, but mostly on an occasional basis in many pubs. “It may have sprung from an attempt by brewers during the First World War to produce a weaker beer that still had a full mouth-feel, by using darker malts, but this is just my guess,” he adds.
1860s – Invention of lager
Almost in the meantime in Europe, a type of beer called lager was invented and became a rage in the European continent. Strangely enough, these lighter coloured, bottom fermented beers didn’t gain real popularity in England until the later part of the 20th century. Lager is fermented and conditioned at low temperatures. As soon as the pale colour lager was invented, it immediately replaced its dark version. Till now, pale lager is the most widely consumed and commercially available styles of beer all around the world. “Lager was exported to America, to far east, like Japan,” says Mr Cornell. “And in 1870s, Japanese breweries came to Berlin to learn how to make lager. But Britain ignored it.” From the mid 1970s onwards, lager replaces most traditional British beers, and is the mainstream beer in Britain at present.
1960s – Bitter
1960s and onwards, sales of mild ale disappeared, and bitter took place of mild. This pale and yellowy beer has become the most popular of its kind in Britain between 1972 and 1975 before giving its way to lager. Bitter was originally marked as pale ale, but customers preferred using this item in order to differentiate it from other hopped beers, such as porter and mild. Bitter has a great variety of flavour, strength and appearance, and the colour is possibly influenced by the addition of caramel colour. “An interesting phenomenon back then was that, the bosses drank bitter, while the workers drank mild,” Mr Cornell says with a big smile. “Bitter was developing, but mild was disappearing.” Bitter, however, is also on the list of endangered beer.
Light Bitter (Endangered)
Light bitter, also known as light ale, is a low and usually bottled bitter, which is some overlap between dark and light milds during the First World War. They were “light” in alcohol terms at around 4.5 per cent by volume, in comparison with other 19th century beers. The remaining >>
JUNE/JULY 2013 ! PHILLYBEERSCENE.COM
<< examples of 20th century are still lower in alcohol by volume at around 3 per cent and 3.5 per cent, included the “boy’s bitters” of the West Country, such as St. Austell IPA and Arkells 2B are the best known survivors, along with the AK and KK beers (light in both colour and alcohol) brewed in places such as Kent, Hampshire, Nottinghamshire, Essex and Bedfordshire. There seem to be very few examples around today.
Strong pale mild (Extinct)
London once had a pack of brewers who specialised in producing pale ales of around 8 or 8.5 per cent abv that were sold unaged. The former Lion brewery was among one of them, which tacked on the site of the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank. Later, strong milds was gradually taken place by weaker milds, that were sold at four old pence a quart pot, which themselves were transformed by the restrictions of the First World War, into the even weaker light milds of the 20th century.
1970s – Recession of old beers
1970s was a period when old beers got chance to mount a comeback, people at that time started to be interested in old beer again. In 1977, Porter was brewed in its first time after 30 years. “That’s the beer has been brought back from dead effectively,” Mr Cornell remarks. It’s also the time when Britain finally caught up with the rest of the world, the beginning of drinking lager. Young drinkers also came into this market, Mr Cornell depicted that time as an exciting time, when new fashion and the Beatles were all the rage in Britain. Young pub goers wanted to drink what their father and grandfather drank. “Their father drank bitter, their grandfather drank mild, they wanted to drink either,” laughed Mr Cornell. However, despite the temporary revival of old beers, lager, the brand new beer to the Great Britain conquered most of the indigenous beers. Lager has turned into the leading beer in Britain since 1990s.
22 PHILLYBEERSCENE.COM ! JUNE/JULY 2013
1980s – a short comeback of Imperial stout (Endangered)
Regarded as one of the finest strong beers in the world, Imperial stout became extinct in Britain in 1994. Its name derives from their original supplies to the court of the Royal Tsars in Russia. In 1980s, the Courage brewery was the only brewery left to make Imperial stout. When Courage stopped brewing their bottle conditioned Russian Imperial Stout in the mid 1990s, this style effectively vanished in Britain as a mainstream product. Fortunately, it was successfully revived in the US, where it fitted the market perfectly for extreme beers. A small number of UK brewers now make Imperial Stouts as well. In 2011, Wells & Youngs brought out a new version of Courage Imperial Russian Stout, but it is a style more celebrated away from the country of its birth than in Britain.
Reproducc a vanished beer style generally only requires the will, a recipe and the right ingredients. “It may turn out to be impossible to resurrect the mammoth,” says Mr Cornell. “But reproducing a vanished beer style generally only requires the will, a recipe and the right ingredients.” As what Mr Cornell remarks, beers get the advantage to resurrect. CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), an independent and voluntary organisation for promoting real ale, has set up a Beer Styles Working Group to probe into ways of encouraging all kinds of endangered beer styles. Their aim is to preserve these threatened British beers. The atlas of British beers has tremendously changed, in this market where lager is the mainstream beer and enjoys the largest popularity. On the contrary, a big amount of British local beers that are both disappeared and pushed to the brisk of extinction, thus more efforts need to be done. Fortunately, many brewers begin to reproduce these old beers, so it’s possible to find them in the pubs and even take a pint of the ancient ‘King Lear’ (Cockney slang for Beer) from centuries ago.!
Photo: Peng Nian.
a sort of extinction
CHENYUN ZHANG FEELS SORRY FOR MINORITY GROUPS IN THE DANGER OF DYING OFF To foreigners, I’m simply identified as Chinese, so do the majority of my fellow countrymen. If I tell them that I belong to a minority group, they would be curious and interested, but neither of them knows anything about my ethnicity. Even I myself know little about my ethnic root. I was brought up in a small city, where is the capital of an ethnic minority autonomous region. Around 80 per cent of people living in this area are minorities, and the most dominant are Miao and Dong. I belong to the latter. Although carrying with this ethnic identity, I, like most of my peers, don’t live in the stockade village, don’t speak ethnic language, don’t wear ethnic clothes or carry forward the custom. Children in cities live in modern flat, speak dialect or mandarin, wear contemporary suit, and study Han culture. The Han-ification (assimilation by Han people) is widely believed to be a better trend, while minority group lost their traits with the development of society. Generally speaking, the ethnic culture starts to go down from my parent generation, who are born in the 1960s. Both my father and mother are Dong, but neither of them can speak Dong language. My father is able to understand but not to speak, while my mother can neither. When they grew up, that’s a period of opening up in China, more opportunities are provided in cities. The new situation led to a great deal of young people swarmed into cities, like my parents, who settled down and completely cut off the world where ethnic culture remains. Thus, from my generation, we are living in a modern environment and our education doesn’t contain our own ethnicity. The only occasion for us to know about our ethnic minority is the annual traditional festival, which is normally held in August. When we were little and still in schools, we usually dress up the ethnic clothes and learn the ethnic dance. The plight of Dong is not an exception, as a matter of fact, most minority groups have gradually lost their characteristics. According to a study of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, nearly 40 per cent of ethnic minority languages are on the verge
of extinction. There are 55 minority groups and 130 minority languages in China, and some minority groups speak more than two languages, but written languages are fewer, only 40. In addition, a current released survey manifests that half of 130 minority languages are spoken by fewer than 10,000 people, and 20 of them are spoken by fewer than 1,000 people. The Minority residential region is a high-prevalence area for leftover children, because their parents have gone to coastal cities such as Guang Zhou and Shen Zheng for making money. As a result, only the elders and small children stay in countryside. Poverty can’t make ethnic traits survive, no matter how fabulous they are, and it becomes an accessory of ethnic minorities. In the pursuit of a more affluent and better life, more and more minority people go to cities and are assimilated, leading to the endangered situation of ethnic culture. Dong is an ethnic minority good at singing and dancing, and the world-renowned Kam Grand Choirs is the most popular and best-known Dong characteristic. Without doubt, we Dong people have our costume and decorations, as well as instruments. Dong also has the only existing tribe in China, these people use sickle to cut their hair, besides, they still use shotgun to hunt. Again, Dong is not an exception in terms of ethnic culture, but all the ethnic groups are more or less driven to the brisk of extinction. From my point of view, this trend is unavoidable, and it is a process of nature, where more advanced culture takes over the less superior one. However, it is of paramount importance to preserve ethnic treasures. To preserve culture heritage is to protect the precious part from our history, as well as keep cultural diversity. It is imperative to preserve different cultures because they are contributions to the world culture heritage. Unfortunately, many of the irreplaceable cultures have given way to modernization, and are quite often ignored. I personally strongly call for the preservation of ethnic minorities, not only because I am one of them, but also due to my affection towards them. Minority groups are natural and unsophisticated, along with the invaluable asset of culture heritage, are worthy of well preservation. I wish whenever I was back to my homeland, the splendid music, the exquisite costume, the unique culture and plain people are still in the distance of a nostalgic and spiritual touch.
SOMETHING TO SAY / 023